Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Traditions

It has been a whole year since my last post. As I shake my head and clear my mind of self-loathing, I do find it a bit interesting that in the midst of all the things that have kept me away so long, I have an urge to find some time during the Christmas season to post each year. This year, I was inspired by Patience Brewster, a one-artist company that designs whimsical and unique Christmas ornaments and gifts
Tonight's post is not about the life haps of the past 365 days, but about the things we are doing today, this week, this month, that have been done for what I can remember of my almost 31 years of life. Traditions. Christmas traditions. I love that over the years, I have grown to adore bits of  those from my own family, picked up some from friends, as well as those of my husband's family traditions. A few of the tried and true traditions of my family include going to a candlelight Christmas worship service and visiting a live nativity at a local church. We also grew up reading the Christmas story from the Bible every Christmas Eve before bed. These are the traditions of which I continue, as they are the true meaning of the season. In addition, we have also always spent much of the December month baking, even though it's not our forte the other 11 months out of the year. Christmas cookies, oatmeal fudge, chocolate covered pretzels & spicy sausage balls are the staples. My in laws make from-scratch fig cookies, but after watching the time consumed by the whole ordeal, I think I will pass on that one. Instead, the addition of decorating a gingerbread house seemed much more fun. As the years go by, I hope Rilynn will be eager to participate and eventually have an annual family gingerbread competition.
Traditions are at a transitional phase in our home this year, as we are currently residing with the in laws as we build our new house. It's also transitioning from us as a couple to us as a family with a two-year old, meaning all of the get togethers will be more child-focused. It's been a bit chaotic this season, and more difficult to squeeze everything in with all of the families. Next year, I plan for all to be the beginning of our new way of doing things- everyone together at one time at our home. Christmas Eve dinner after Mass, hot toddy's, gingerbread houses & board games. Ri's excitement over setting out Santa's treats & opening her Christmas pajamas each year to wear for Christmas morning. I will also resume my annual Pancakes & Pajamas Play date that I began two years ago with my girlfriends and the babies. It is going to be so fun to get them together each year for jammy fun, Christmas carols & holiday crafts.

Traditions don't have to be set in stone. As is with everything in life, over time, they may need to be reshaped a bit to fit the ever-evolving and changing family dynamics. They are to be continued out of love, fun and nostalgia. And as you can tell, I am constantly adding to my list of traditions! It will definitely be interesting to see which ones we continue to prioritize over the coming years.

What are some of your family traditions? I would love to hear them!

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a season of delightful traditions!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

recent chaos called LIFE

I don't know how or when I became such a brainy mess, but I am. I have literally lost my mind. I have always been and now, I am everyfreakinwhere. Work is busy busy and there are days I forget don't have time to eat or take a break if I want to get out on time to pick up my babe. Thanksgiving, birthday parties, family gatherings, holiday gatherings, football games, ahem, war damn, Christmas cards, decking the halls, new family traditions with the kiddos... and somewhere in there I have to shop for gifts? I had a bit of a moment of panic last night when I realized that Christmas is upon us- 3 weeks, actually- and the outside of our house is not even decorated. Not one single bit. My Christmas cards are in, but not addressed... Our tree is up, but not a present is wrapped, if at all bought. Auburn won the Iron Bowl last weekend, to everyone's shock and amazement. It was wonderful and consumed my weekend. Now we go to the SEC Championship game this coming Saturday- an unexpected surprise, but a surprise nonetheless. So much for Christmas shopping. Ri has had a crumby cold since Friday (in which I had to sleep in her crib. I know, it was as awful as one would imagine), and threw up all over Chris and the sofa last night. Well, at least we have gotten over the fear of the first time that would happen. So we can forget shopping this week, as well.
Looks like I might need to take to the internet this week and pray that my goodies arrive my Christmas Day. At this point, maybe even wrapped.

But I look back at this post and see all the things that used to matter so much to me at Christmas and how much they don't anymore. It is now about making memories and doing things together. I care much more about our upcoming trip to the Polar Express, meeting Santa, going to the Church of the Highlands Christmas Service, hosting my first annual Mommy+Mini Holiday playdate, baking, painting and the list goes on. I could without gifts for myself anymore. Watching my little one make holiday memories is gift enough in itself.

So if you are reading this and get a Christmas card from us, with your address scribbled across the front, know it was in the true spirit of Christmas that I decided you would rather see the card than my perfect calligraphic penmanship across the envelope, that will indeed wind up, rather immediately, in the trash.

Slow down from the hustle and bustle and just take in the meaning of it all. 'Tis the Season... May all your days be merry and bright.